Varieties of firm: Complementarity and bounded diversity

Geoffrey Wood, Richard Croucher, Chris Brewster, David Collings, Michael Brookes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This is a study of the nature of internal diversity within liberal and collaborative market economies. Based on large scale comparative survey data, we assess the extent to which specific clusters of practices are associated with specific varieties of capitalism. Given that recent literature has pointed to internal diversity within specific national contexts, we explore the nature of internal diversity within both liberal and collaborative market economies, and what makes each variety of capitalism distinct. We find that more than one cluster of practices is indeed likely to be encountered in a particular national context, but that this diversity was bounded: only a limited number of alternative paradigms are likely to emerge and persist. The survey findings not only shed light on the nature of this internal diversity, but also reveal the fact that liberal and collaborative markets remain distinct, with the rights accruing to employees being more deeply embedded in a wide cross section of firms within the latter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-258
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Economic Issues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Corporate governance
  • HRM
  • Internal diversity
  • Varieties of capitalism


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